Craig E. Leen is a partner at the firm's Washington, D.C. office. He is a member of the Labor, Employment, and Workplace Safety practice group, and co-leads the firm’s OFCCP and Affirmative Action Compliance area of focus. His depth of experience spans across federal, state, and local government, as well, as the private sector.
Prior to joining the firm, Craig served as Director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), a federal civil rights enforcement agency at the U.S. Department of Labor. In this role, Craig reported directly to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Labor; overseeing approximately 450 employees and a budget of over $105 million, with a mission to ensure compliance by federal contractors with equal employment opportunity and non-discrimination obligations.
During his tenure, OFCCP experienced record years in both enforcement recoveries and compliance assistance, with Craig overseeing three rulemakings and issuance of several technical assistance guides to help employers comply with the law. Likewise, as an agency head at the U.S. DOL, Craig worked directly with numerous other federal agencies, including the Wage & Hour Division (WHD), the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
From his leadership experience at OFCCP and U.S. DOL, Craig provides clients who conduct business with the federal government a wealth of experience and insight into the enforcement of equal employment opportunity regulations, including compliance with affirmative action and nondiscrimination obligations. Likewise, he provides frequent advice to clients on developing comprehensive diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) programs and pay equity self-audits. Finally, Craig’s knowledge and experience with the regulatory process is of significant value in providing counsel as to agency rulemakings under the Administrative Procedure Act.
Craig's experiences prior to OFCCP as a government attorney at the municipal and county levels in Florida also provide him a unique vantage point to advise clients on all aspects of regulatory compliance at multiple levels of government.
Prior to his tenure at OFCCP, Craig served as the City Attorney of Coral Gables, Florida, where he was the general counsel and chief legal officer for a municipality in South Florida. Before becoming City Attorney, Craig served as Chief of Appeals and then Chief of Federal Litigation for Miami-Dade County, one of the largest counties in the United States. Craig is board certified by The Florida Bar in city, county, and local government law.
Craig is well-known for his development of award-winning disability inclusion programs at both OFCCP (Section 503 Focused Review Program) and the City of Coral Gables (Principles of Inclusion). Craig also received the Secretary's Exceptional Achievement Award - Professional for his service at U.S. DOL, and the Paul S. Buchman Award for Outstanding Contribution in the Area of Legal Public Service for his service in local government.
Craig has taught numerous legal subjects as an adjunct professor at U.S. law schools, including Labor Law, State & Local Government Law, Legal Drafting (Litigation), and Evidence among other courses. He presently serves as a Professorial Lecturer in Law at The George Washington University Law School, and he has previously taught on the adjunct faculties at Florida International University College of Law, and the University of Miami School of Law. Previously, Craig was an associate at several global law firms and served as a law clerk to the Honorable Robert E. Keeton, US District Judge, District of Massachusetts.
- Recognized with The Honorable Annice M. Wagner Pioneer Award by The Bar Association of the District of Columbia
- U.S. Secretary of Labor’s Exceptional Achievement Award- Professional for successfully leading the transformation of OFCCP into a more effective organization
- U.S. Secretary of Labor’s Worker’s Protection Awards (three) for work on two systemic compensation cases and for leading the development of the Section 503/Disability Inclusion Focused Review Program
- Special Achievement Award from the American Association for Access, Equity, and Diversity for leadership in advancing the rights of individuals with disabilities in the federal contractor labor force
- Cruz-Whitehurst Advocacy Award from the UM-NSU Center for Autism and Related Disabilities for work advocating for inclusion of individuals with autism and other disabilities by cities and counties in Florida
- Paul S. Buchman Award for Outstanding Contribution in the Area of Legal Public Service from the City, County, and Local Government Law Section of The Florida Bar
- Julie Kay Amicus Award from the Miami-Dade Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers for bringing attention to critical issues affecting women attorneys
- Chair’s Service Award from the City, County, and Local Government Law Section of The Florida Bar
- Proclamations from the City of Coral Gables, Miami-Dade County, and Miami-Dade County Public Schools honoring and recognizing public service
- Legal Elite, Florida Trend Magazine, 2013, 2014, 2017
- Legal Luminaries, Finalist, Government Attorney Category (four finalists), Dade County Bar Association
- Best of Miami, Miami New Times, 2012
- Rising Star, Florida Super Lawyers, 2009
- Initial sponsor of the Parental Leave Continuance Rule in the Florida Rules of Judicial Administration Committee, which was adopted by the Florida Supreme Court and recommended by the American Bar Association
- Developed a comprehensive disability inclusion and autism acceptance program for Coral Gables and the Coral Gables Police Department that was ultimately adopted by numerous local governments
- Member, Advisory Board, NYU Center for Labor & Employment Law, 2022-present
- Member, DC Bar Rules of Professional Conduct Review Committee, 2022-present
- Chair, Civil & Human Rights Committee, The Bar Association of the District of Columbia, 2022-present
- Member, RespectAbility Board, 2021-present
- Member, Friends of Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens Board, 2021-present
- Vice Chair, District of Columbia Advisory Committee, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 2022-present
- Member, Circa Board of Directors, 2021-present
- Member, Eightfold Advisory Board, 2021-present
- Member, Disability:In DC Metro Advisory Board, 2021-present
- Professorial Lecturer in Law, The George Washington University Law School, 2018-present
- Faculty, The Institute for Workplace Equality, 2021-present
- Member, Ad Hoc Committee on Rules and Procedures (Local Rules Committee), U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, 2014-present
- Member, Florida Rules of Judicial Administration Committee, 2015-2021
- Vice Chair, 2018-20
- Member, Special Education Parent Advisory Board, District of Columbia Public Schools, 2019-20
- Member, Florida Appellate Court Rules Committee, 2009-15
- Vice Chair, 2014-15
- Member, Executive Council, City, County, and Local Government Law Section of The Florida Bar, 2013-20
- Member, Diversity and Inclusion Committee of The Florida Bar, 2016-18
- Member, Special Committee on Parental Leave in Court Actions, 2016
- Member, Constituency Board, UM-NSU Center for Autism and Related Disabilities, 2015-17
- Member, Legal Committee, Miami-Dade County Chiefs of Police, 2011-17
- Adjunct Professor, University of Miami School of Law, 2013-18
- Adjunct Professor, Florida International University College of Law, 2012-18
- Lecturer at Law, Legal Research & Writing Program, University of Miami School of Law, 2004-10
Craig has done over 100 speaking engagements, including keynotes, panel discussions, and TED-style talks, on subjects ranging from equal employment opportunity compliance in the workplace, to disability inclusion, to government ethics. Here are some recent speaking engagements:
- “Achieving Pay Equity: Employer Best Practices for Conducting Pay Equity Self-Audits,” Lawline webcast, 21 October 2022
- “Eliminating Glass Ceilings: Employer Best Practices for Achieving Equity in Promotions,” Lawline webcast, 8 September 2022
- Speaker, "U.S. Regulatory Agenda: The Latest Labor Updates," K&L Gates CLE Webinar, 15 March 2022.
- Is My Company a Federal Contractor or Subcontractor? Not Knowing May Cost You (virtual panel), HR.com, August 3, 2021.
- Keynote, Perspectives on Autism, Disability:In DC Metro, General Dynamics IT’s AbilityFirst, and HOLA Employee Resource Group, April 29, 2021.
- Creating an Ability-inclusive Workforce: Section 503 Compliance Insights and Best Practices (virtual panel), The Institute for Workplace Equality, April 6, 2021.
- The Big OFCCP What If? IS AAP Verification the First Step Toward Something (Much) Bigger? (virtual panel), Circa, April 6, 2021, available here.
- Panel: Moderated Q&A with Day One Speakers (virtual), Autism Innovations & Global Impact Conference, 2021 Building a Neurodiverse Workforce, Els for Autism, March 12, 2021.
- The Inside Scoop – Lunch-Time Questions with the Experts – Session 4. Questions about the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (virtual), Autism Innovations & Global Impact Conference, 2021 Building a Neurodiverse Workforce, Els for Autism, March 12, 2021.
- Keynote: Providing an Inclusive Workforce for Individuals with Disabilities – A Competitive Edge (virtual), Autism Innovations & Global Impact Conference, 2021 Building a Neurodiverse Workforce, Els for Autism, March 12, 2021.
- “Ask Craig,” A Three-Part Interactive Series with Craig Leen, Former OFCCP Director and Circa’s Newest Board Member (virtual; on the topic of disability inclusion and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act) Circa, Part One, February 15, 2021; Part 2, March 1, 2021; Part 3, March 8, 2021.
- A Fireside Chat with Former OFCCP Director Craig Leen, Episodes 8 (virtual) , Policy Matters Podcast, Seyfarth (with Scott Hecker, Senior Counsel), February 8, 2021, available here.
- Remarks to Stakeholders (virtual), OFCCP Section 503 Focused Review Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2020, January 15, 2021.
Craig is a frequent marathoner and enjoys spending time with his family hiking on trails in the National Capitol Region.
- OFCCP and Federal Contractors Are Significant Focus of Recent Executive Branch Actions, Pratt’s Government Contracting Law Report, June 2022
- OFCCP Compensation Directive Focuses on Pay Equity Audits, HR Magazine, 24 March 2022
- How Health Care Cos. Can Untangle Web Of Vaccine Mandates, Law360, 13 October 2021
- Outreach to Minority Serving Institutions Helps Diversify Your Organization, Circa Blog, May 2021
- Shining a Spotlight on Improving and Supporting Mental Health in the Workplace, Circa Blog, May 2021
- Ten Recent OFCCP Reforms You May Not Have Heard About, Part 2, Circa Blog, April 2021
- Ten Recent OFCCP Reforms You May Not Have Heard About, Part 1, Circa Blog, April 2021
- Introductory Letter to OFCCP’s Section 503 Focused Reviews Annual Report (FY 2020), pp. 1-2
- Eliminating Systemic Discrimination a Key Battle, Dayton Daily News, September 26, 2020
- Common Sense on the Equal Employment Opportunity Agenda, Anchorage Daily News, September 1, 2019
- Letter from the Editor, Craig E. Leen, in recognition of the 50th anniversary of municipal home rule in Florida, The Agenda, City, County & Local Government Law Section of the Florida Bar, Fall 2017
- Without Explanation: Judicial Restraint, Per Curiam Affirmances, and the Written Opinion Rule, FIU Law Review, Spring 2017
- Introduction (From Town Meeting to Oral Argument: Citizens, Cities, and the Appellate Courts), FIU Law Review, Spring 2017
- Of Constitutional Dimension - Four Proposals to the Constitution Revision Commission, The Agenda, City, County & Local Government Law Section of the Florida Bar, Spring 2017
- Parental Leave, Letters, Florida Bar News, March 15, 2017 Edition
- Subsidiarity Matters: The Primacy of Local Zoning in Intergovernmental Disputes, The Agenda, City, County & Local Government Law Section of the Florida Bar, Fall 2016
- The Ethical and Effective Representation of Government Employees by Government Attorneys, Stetson Law Review, Summer 2016
- Declarations of Inclusion and Parental Leave Continuances: Two Causes, One Mission, CABA Briefs, Summer 2016
- A Parent’s Wish – Declaring Principles of Inclusion for Children with Autism and other Special Needs, Gables Magazine, Summer/Fall Issue 2016
- In Honor of Autism Awareness Month, The Agenda, City, County & Local Government Law Section of the Florida Bar, Spring 2016
- The Sovereign’s Grace and Equitable Estoppel, The Agenda, City, County & Local Government Law Section of the Florida Bar, Fall 2015
Craig has hundreds of media mentions in the form of news clips, television interviews, and online content from his work in government. Here are a few examples:
- Quoted, “Labor Department Reluctant to Reveal Contractor Diversity Data,” Bloomberg Law, 20 October 2022
- Quoted, “The Benefits of Using Inclusive Photos on Your Website,” SHRM, 21 September 2022
- Quoted, “OFCCP Clarifies Federal Contractors’ Compensation Compliance,” SHRM, 29 August 2022
- Quoted, “Contractors’ Privileged Pay Analyses Protected From DOL Audits,” Bloomberg Law, 18 August 2022
- Quoted, "EEOC, DOJ Warn Companies: Do Not Use AI to Discriminate," SHRM, 18 May 2022
- Quoted, "What Life Is Like for Autistic Workers," SHRM, 15 April 2022
- Quoted, "OFCCP Will Speed Up Audits," SHRM, 7 April 2022
- Quoted, "Contractor Watchdog Rolls Back Trump Compliance Directives," Bloomberg Law, 31 March 2022
- Federal Contractors Bracing for More Government Pay Bias Probes, Bloomberg Law, 24 March 2022
- OFCCP Will Open Portal for Certification of Compliance Soon, SHRM, 4 March 2022
- Punching In: Rank and File Returning to Labor Department Desks, Bloomberg Law, 22 February 2022
- Could Increasing Telework Make Government Employment More Accessible?, FCW.com, 8 July 2021
- Accessibility Matters: Craig Leen, Accessbility.com, 29 June 2021
- DOL Plans Minimum-Wage Hike for Contractors, Help for Tipped Workers, SHRM, 14 June 2021
- Prospect of Affirmative Action Checks Worries U.S. Contractors, Bloomberg Law
- Workers with Disabilities Need More from DOL, Official Says, Bloomberg Law
- Panelist (virtual), RespectAbility’s ADA30 Summit 2020, 30 July 2020
- In Conversation: NOD President Carol Glazer and OFCCP Director Craig Leen (video), National Organization on Disability, 24 February 2020
- OFCCP Issues Directive on Fourth Agency Pillar of Certainty, JD Supra
- OFCCP Director Craig Leen Describes Agency Priorities in Comments at the National ILG Conference, JD Supra
- Embracing Autism: A Coral Gables Story, Coral Gables Television, 25 April 2016